Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
OpenOffice.org is probably the biggest free software project in existence today. It certainly is the biggest single piece of software one can download and compile in one go, with the core package hitting over the 100MB mark (while bzip’d) and the total sources going over 200MB.
It directly competes with Microsoft Office, is a bit more easy to install than KOffice, and is very complete.
But what will you get?
You don’t usually compile OpenOffice.org (OOo for short) yourself. The first reason: it’s HUGE: it needs 9GB of free disk space to compile successfully with default options. Second, it’s LONG—plan at least a day for the initial build if your system isn’t a powerhouse with a dozen gigabytes of RAM. And third, you probably already have a version compiled for your system.
I will explore the highly active OOo 2.x code line here; the older 1.1.x code line may work on older systems and many UNIXes (IRIX, AIX, Linux/Sparc), but it is too limited to remain interesting.
Right now the following operating systems have supported, native, recent versions:
Windows NT 5 (2000, XP, Vista)
GNU/Linux x86 (starting with kernel 2.2.16, glibc2 2.6 and X11R6)
Solaris 8 on SPARC or on x86
MacOS X 10.3.5 PowerPC and x86 with Apple’s X11 compatibility layer